Consumers have become comfortable with using voice assistants such as Amazon Echo™and Google Home™on a daily basis, yet few contact centers have made the shift to conversational self-service. To the frustration of their customers, many still use directed dialog speech menus or legacy touch-tone systems.
One of our clients‒a leading satellite and Internet provider‒ was utilizing a touch-tone IVR that required callers to traverse several predefined menu options, leading to a difficult and often frustrating customer experience. The company realized it needed to provide a low-effort alternative that was consistent with its innovative brand, and Concentrix knew conversational artificial intelligence (AI) would be the ideal solution.
The client partnered with Concentrix to improve its caller experience by implementing a phased rollout of Concentrix XP Virtual Assistant (XP VA), which allows customers to interact using natural language. Concentrix modeled the XP VA solution after contact center agent interactions to provide familiarity and consistency in serving customers. Callers are asked, “How may I help you?” and can speak freely, just as they would with an agent. With the new conversational application, callers can be as descriptive or as vague as they want. The system adjusts to the caller to collect missing pieces of information. For example, if the caller says, “I want to pay my balance” versus “make a payment”, the system can apply the balance amount on file without having to ask a follow-up question for the amount.
XP VA uses Natural Language Understanding (NLU), AI, and (human) agents to improve the customer experience. AI-powered services are an advantage to enterprises looking to employ conversational voice assistance or text chat bots. Deep Learning enables rich understanding of human speech, so voice recognition is faster and more accurate. In addition, AI-driven speech recognition technology allows the use of very large data sets to provide broad coverage of caller utterances.
Leveraging conversational IVR technology gives customers the seamless, low-effort experience they expect, while also enabling accurate routing, increasing first call resolution rates, reducing handle time, and improving overall customer satisfaction scores.
Since implementation and launch, customer comments have included:
- “The system recognizes my history and makes it easy to pay from my saved accounts.”
- “Previously, paying my bill involved many redundant key presses. This time, I was able to pay my bill more quickly, without all the unnecessary key presses.”
- “It was easier than I expected. And I didn’t have to wait for the next available agent!”
In contributing to the client’s #1 Customer Service rating by J.D. Power and our joint Gold Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service, we have achieved:
- 2.8 percent increase in self-service payment transactions
- 7 percent increase in CSAT scores
- 10 percent improvement in Customer Effort score